Military makes progress on dengue jab

Military scientists have been hard at work in Thailand developing a new vaccine to combat dengue fever. For the U.S. military, the prime motivation is protecting the troops from a disease that has afflicted American soldiers as recently as the ‘90s. But if they're successful in getting a new vaccine that can be commercialized by the middle of the next decade, they'll also save people from a disease that hospitalizes half a million a year.

"All we care about is that we get a vaccine that protects soldiers," Lt. Col. Stephen J. Thomas, a medical doctor who is director of dengue vaccine development in the Bangkok laboratory, told the New York Times, "Fortunately a lot of our concerns are also global health concerns."

And just down the street from the military's lab, Sanofi-Aventis and a local university are working on a separate vaccine that also has raised hopes of near-term vaccine.

"We're further along with the dengue vaccine than we've ever been," said Duane J. Gubler, director of the emerging infectious diseases department of the Duke-N.U.S. Graduate Medical School in Singapore. "There's a good possibility that we'll have a vaccine in five to seven years."

- read the article in the New York Times

ALSO: Vical said that that the Naval Medical Research Center plans to conduct preclinical and Phase I evaluation of a dengue DNA vaccine formulated with the company's Vaxfectin adjuvant and delivered with the Biojector 2000 needle-free injection system. Release